PHILADELPHIA – On Wednesday, Carli Lloyd, the famous footballer, met at Lincoln Financial a Field, the well-known venue of the NFL.
The occasion was a training of the US women's national team in the context of the World Cup victory tour, which will be continued on Thursday against Portugal.
Champions have played but given in big football stadiums before As 37-year-old Lloyd shot a 55-yard field goal through the posts in recent events and then talked about testing the NFL, the Eagles & # 39; Cave to be a contemporary backdrop for visiting the US team. At the moment, Lloyd said she's focusing on internationals and the final section of the National Women's Soccer League season with Sky Blue FC of New Jersey.
But after proving that she can beat a long ball to the first round – and after watching video clips of her appearance on August 20 – during a joint training of the Eagles and Baltimore Ravens on social media – Lloyd said she is seriously considering a possible career change.
Play in the NFL? "Lloyd asked. "At first I just laughed a little bit about it. But the more I talk to my husband – he's everything to me – and my friends and family, the more they encourage me to take this opportunity. "
Whether there is a formal opportunity remains to be seen. Unnamed NFL teams have reportedly contacted, but with cadres ready before the kickoff next week and Lloyd's football inexperience, this is unlikely to be in their immediate future.
However, she said with wide eyes, "There must be a first for everything, right?
Women have played college football and arena football, but never in the NFL.
In addition to a strong foot, Lloyd's brawny self-confidence.
"I'm not afraid to go ahead." Of the whole World and actually do it, "she said. "I've always been like that, from a little girl. I never cared to play against boys.
On the surface it seems absurd, regardless of gender, to form an NFL team at this age without NCAA football or professional football experience.
-foot-8, the slender striker has never kicked off or had to attack in the open field (soccer).
"Yes, 300 pounds to come to me, I would probably try to give my best She said smiling. "I do not know if I'll be in the hospital afterwards."
Place footballers with professional football background have made it to the NFL, including the Austrian Toni Fritsch (1971-82) and the Irishman Neil O & # 39; Donoghue (1977) -85). Josh Lambo, the kicker of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was a MLS goalkeeper for four years before joining the Texas A & M football team four years ago to form the NFL.
Annapolis & # 39; Devin Barclay played five MLS seasons and then became the Ohio 2007-10 top kicker.
Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Meola tried the New York Jets after the 1994 World Cup and served in the training squad for a few weeks.
"I would only recommend it if I do. You mean it really seriously," said Meola. "Do not do it for a PR stunt because it's a publicity stunt that could kill you."
The ability to kick the ball is only part of the challenge.
"That's the easy point, you'll know if Carli Lloyd can score a field goal or not," said 50-year-old Meola, who co-hosts the SiriusXM football show "Counter Attack." "Players from across the league Kickers are not very popular, and now you come from another sport and try to take someone's job.
"If she tries, I'll be her biggest fan, but it's not Joke, that's for sure. "
Lloyd said she was" not naïve "about the challenges of playing violent sports in a man-inhabited big man's life.
But from a mental point of view, she thinks she is
"You have to have a thick skin – mentally hard, mentally strong," said Lloyd, who won two world titles and two Olympic gold medals in his 14-year national team career while performing in 282 games at and scored 114 goals. "I invite pressure. I love pressure. I ticked it all off. Now all that matters is to know that I can do it and continue from there.
This means working with longtime coach James Galanis to refine their approach and method.
"I want to get out of there and do a two-step kick to make sure I can," she said. "If I can do it from quite a distance, I would feel much more comfortable. Obviously, cushions, helmets, I might need a few 300-pound men to rush toward me.
As for the mechanics of kicking a football as opposed to a football, she said, "I can bomb a pretty significant long ball. It has nothing to do with leg strength. Everyone thinks, 'Oh, you need a big, strong leg to shoot a ball. & # 39; No. It's all about technology. & # 39;
Following Lloyd's exploits in the Eagles Ravens training, Randy Brown, assistant to the Ravens special team, sent her a screenshot comparing her shape to that of Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker .
"It's pretty accurate," Lloyd said, noting the leg movement and arm width. "The only thing that's different is that the ball is a bit different shaped … and obviously kicking in a game is very different."
According to his 25 years of experience, Meola said, "You can play a soccer ball wrong and still hit 60. The sweet spot of a soccer ball is the size of a nickel."
USA coach Jill Ellis did not hesitate To support Lloyd's possible persecution of the NFL.
"I think she could do it 100 percent – technically and mentally," she said. All in all [but] she has the steel inside and the reach in the leg. "
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